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Archive for Monday, June 29, 2009

Few voters head to polls to choose leader

June 29, 2009

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— The unsolved murder of this country’s democratically elected president cast a long shadow over Guinea-Bissau as only small numbers of voters headed to the polls Sunday to choose their next leader.

At polling stations in the capital, there were no lines. The few voters who came walked away almost immediately, their pinkies dabbed in ink.

President Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira was killed March 2 in front of his wife by men wearing army uniforms. In 35 years since independence from Portugal, the tiny nation of 1.5 million has experienced numerous coups, countercoups and a civil war but, even in light of this past, the violent death of Vieira has left many shaken and deeply discouraged.

No one has been arrested for Vieira’s murder and in the days after his death his bloodstained living room was not even cordoned off with police tape.

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